Fathom Cuts Fares, Agents Still Struggle With Sales Process
issues ranging from a high price point to lack of direction on how to approach
selling theproduct, agents
report that Carnival fathom bookings are well-below expectations.
Within the past week fathom significantly dropped its fares, addressing the
initialconcern, but what about
other issues that have kept this product from selling well in theearly stages? Cruise Week asked
fathom Senior V.P. of Sales David Drier to address some of thechallenges:
“Whether we’ve equipped agents enough to date I’m not sure,” he says. “What I
knowneeds to happen is agents
need to articulate the experience in order to sell it. They’re reallynot selling a cruise to the Dominican
Republic, they’re selling an experience that is meant tobring great benefit to those in
country as well as to the passenger travelling. It happens to beexecuted by ship.”
it comes to Cuba it’s a different story for the itineraries in the sales
process. Drier says itinerary matters more for Cuba than it does for the DR.
“Theitineraries we’re looking at
would be great itineraries on their own even without the socialimpact element,” he says. “The agent
community would be able to sell Cuba based onitinerary
For Cuba it’s the destination that is going to drive the demand. “We know that.
But that’sgood. We know that our
programming will be extra sensitive to the people to people and thecultural immersion and building
towards a social impact that we can have on the ground,” says Drier.
terms of developing group business for experiencing fathom, Drier’s advice is
straightforward: “Church groups are ideal for both the Dominican Republic and
Cuba. Overthe years there have
been a lot of mission style trips that have gone by charter plane down
into Cuba to just try to understand how the people are living."
Both destinations make sense for educational trips. “We’ve talked to high schools
about seniortrips and we’ve
talked to various universities. There’s a lot of interest in Cuba from variousbusiness schools who would like to
take a group of students down to understand how commerce works under a
Communist system,” says Drier.
“I also see team building opportunities among professional groups - lawyers,
doctors,bankers, all those types
of associations to me make sense as ways to galvanize interestaround groups. Both the DR and Cuba
are really powerful in terms of groups.”
In terms of the trade and fathom, Drier emphasizes there is and will be fullsupport. “We really believe the trade
is our conduit to the market. We will be doing moreawareness building with the trade in
mind so they can really be our ambassadors to thepublic.”